This is a re-post of a note I published July 26, 2013 on Facebook. I am transferring my notes from Facebook into my Float the River blog.
Predetermined plans, I really do like those. They make me happy. They provide a sense of stability. All of the research has been done, all of the questions have been asked, the route has been set, and all I have to do is GO. Vacations, backpacking adventures, and everyday projects generally work best or with the least amount of fuss when the details have been set prior to embarking on them.
I find great peace knowing that God has predetermined plans. Specifically, the plan of salvation (Acts 2:22-23, 1st Peter 1:18-21) and even the scope of my life (Psalm 139:5 and 16). Where I run into trouble is pre-determining plans for others, including God. So often I find myself defining in my mind how others will respond and pin my hopes on my conclusions. If they love me they will…, if they respect me then…, if I do this then they will do that, etc. You know the routine. Unfortunately that most often leads to disappointment, disillusionment, despair, and often bitterness; especially towards God.
I ask God to deliver me, rescue me, bless me…and then decide for Him what that will look like. Usually not in just general terms either. I usually lay out for Him a very specific course of action with very specific results that I expect Him to do on my behalf. Usually, though, His plans are far different than mine and I must admit, I sometimes find myself questioning God’s sanity or at least His love and care for me.
In those times I need to, as Joseph did (Genesis 30-50), realize that God’s plans are much bigger, greater, and more significant than I could ever hope and plan for. His ways, purposes, and thoughts are so different than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9). I need to be settled before God, trusting in His sovereign goodness. I long to be like the Psalmist who prayed (quite thoroughly and passionately, I might add) and then simply watched (Psalm 5). He expected God would answer and patiently waited for God to act in His time, in His way. His hope and shelter were not to be found in how he wanted God to answer, but in knowing the character of the One he knew with certainty would answer.
Sometimes I need to click “select all”, hit “delete”, and humble myself before God. I am safe in His plans, even if He hasn’t run the plan by me first.